State Solid: High school athletes excel in more ways than one

Scary good.

That’s the way, literally, to describe the cheer squad from Hood River Valley High School.

In just one example of post-season success for local high school athletes, the team took fifth place at state in Salem on Saturday.

Congratulations to coach Jennifer Schlosser and the hard-working and, indeed, brave young women who get flung many feet into the air and/or gracefully catch each other as part of the squad’s impressive routines.

The rigors of wrestling, swimming and basketball are also paying off for the teams from HRVHS and Horizon Christian School.

Congratulations to the boys and girls swimmers, who won the Columbia River Conference last weekend and advance to state at Mount Hood Community College in Gresham this weekend.

The Horizon Hawks boys basketball team begins the defense of their 2012 State Class 1A title on Friday at the Big Sky District tournament in Hermiston. The team seeks to perfect an undefeated season as it goes for two titles in a row.

Meanwhile, the HRVHS wrestling squad moves on to its district championship Friday and Saturday at Marshall High School in Portland.

In all cases, we congratulate the athletes and coaches for their accomplishments.

In addition to wins and post-season placement, there are reasons to also celebrate the athletes who did not advance. Cases in point were the girls hoops teams from Horizon and Hood River Valley, and the Eagle boys team, who finish up regular season this week with hopes to notch a couple of wins and build on what they have learned. All three teams have experienced the frustration of losing seasons, but were victors in another sense: In the second half of the season they kept striving to compete and put teamwork to best use.

So while we celebrate the athletes who advance, we also honor the continuing efforts of their schoolmates who gave it their best in the 2012-13 winter sports season.

Now, bring on spring.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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